Reclaimed Brown Fields
Leading British candidate announces plan to create eco-towns
Gordon Brown, the man widely expected to take Tony Blair’s place as prime minister of Britain this summer, has made headlines with a splashy green announcement. Brown, currently the U.K. finance minister, said he intends to create five eco-towns that would meet a demand for affordable housing. The carbon-neutral communities, built on reclaimed brownfields, would contain 10,000 to 20,000 houses each. They’d be powered by locally generated clean-energy sources such as wind and solar, and would feature bus routes and bike lanes. “If we are to meet the aspirations of every young couple to do the best for themselves and their children, then we need to build new homes, and we need to deliver well-planned, green, and prosperous communities where they will want to live,” said Brown. Criticized for recycling a policy already laid out by his Labor Party, he retorted, “It’s quite new,” which made us love him in all his awkward glory. The first town will be built on a former military base in Cambridgeshire.